Little John’s Stew

Little John and Robin Hood, walking through the forest…. gettin’ ready to eat some yummy stew. That’s how it goes, right?

It is officially FALL! Who is excited? In August I was not ready for fall at all, but now I am just so excited it’s here. Our weather is starting to get that little bite of cold in the mornings and I just want to cuddle up with some coffee or soup.

Sorry for my little absence. We’ve been getting in the swing of school and soccer and all the things at our house. Anyone else? I don’t know how I’m always so surprised at how busy we are all of a sudden, and yet… I was.

Ok. On to the recipe.

This is a family favorite. Hearty beef stew served over mashed potatoes- you just can’t go wrong. You can also make it with the potatoes mixed in, which seems a little more true to Robin Hood form.


– 2.5lbs top sirloin cut into pieces or stew beef *I have used both and we prefer to use sirloin strips, but stew beef works perfectly, too!*

– 2+ TBSP olive oil

– Salt and Pepper

– 1/2C to 2/3C flour

– 1 tsp (four cloves) minced garlic

– 1 white onion

– 3-4 strips of bacon, cut into pieces

– 14.9 oz Guinness (I use extra stout!)

– 4TBSP tomato paste

– 3 C beef stock or water + 3TBSP beef bouillon

– 10-20 baby carrots (or 2-3 full sized carrots), chopped

– 2 celery stocks, chopped

– 3 bay leaves

– 1 tsp ground thyme

* You can also add 2-3 chopped potatoes if not serving over mashed potatoes!


– Start by putting flour, salt and pepper, and your beef into ziploc bags. Shake to coat your stew super well.

– Heat around 2 TBSP olive oil in the bottom of your large pot over medium heat. Working the steak in batches, brown the steak until all sides are brown and you don’t see anything red/pink.

– When finished with a batch of steak, remove from pot and store on a plate.

*If the bottom of your large pot is coated in burned or cooked bits, add a little water to loose the worst pieces in-between batches of steak. You DO NOT want the bottom of your pot to have burned stuff on it; it will effect the whole soup.*

– If the pot is dry, add a little oil with each new batch.

– When your meat is finished, add another TBSP of olive oil to the pot and add your bacon, onion, and garlic.

– Add your carrots and celery as your onion and garlic look a little brown. Sauté until the bacon appears almost completely cooked, around four minutes or so.

– Add your Guinness, beef stock, tomato paste. Stir well and bring to a boil.

*If adding potatoes, add them now.*

– Return your meat to the pot. Once your stew is bubbling, lower the heat to a simmer and let it simmer for 2-3 hours.

Serve with some yummy mashed potatoes or a roll!

Stay tuned for more ROBIN HOOD fun!

Trashin’ the Camp Banana Muffins

We made banana muffins in honor of Tarzan and all his animal friends! Did you know gorillas actually eat over 100 types of fruit? (Check out the free printable we had for our Tarzan day for more gorilla facts!)

This is a recipe we have made sooooo many times. They are sweet and absolutely perfect. I personally don’t need the white/semisweet chocolate chips, but the dragons love them that way.


– 1.5 C flour

– 1/2 C – 2-3C sugar *I used to make these with 1C of sugar and it was just too sweet. If you’re adding chips, I suggest doing just 1/2C*

– 1 tsp baking soda

– 1/2 tsp salt

– 3 very ripe bananas

– 1 large egg

– 1/3 C vegetable oil

– 1.5 tsp vanilla extract


– Preheat your oven to 350°

– Put all your ingredients in a standing mixer bowl or mixing bowl. Use a mixer to blend together nicely.

*You can separate your wet and dry ingredients if you like, but I have done it both ways and can tell you it has made no difference with this recipe.*

– Prep your muffin pan with liners & cooking spray. Use a medium scoop (between 2-4 TBSP) of batter in each liner/muffin.

– Top with chips, nuts, or toppings of your choosing.

– Bake for 18-22 minutes. I usually start at 20 and add minutes as needed.

Enjoy with your Tarzan day!

Avengers Party Food

My youngest dragon is four! How did that happen?

For his birthday, we had an Avengers celebration that I was exceptionally proud of. Let’s start with the party food, because the food is always so worth it!

Iron Man’s Punch

All you need for this punch is two drinks that have a good difference in sugar. We used pineapple juice (bottom) and fruit punch (top, which surprised me).

I did not have enough pineapple juice(or rather, underestimated how much I should put in). I would suggest having twice the amount on bottom as on top, to properly balance what gets mixed together.

Cap’s Shield

I used:


White Chocolate Covered Pretzels



Mini Marshmallows (in a star cookie cutter)

This was easy to assemble, although it did take some time to accept that people were going to devour/destroy it quickly.


Pretzel sticks and cheese sticks. That’s it! I cut cheese sticks over using cubes cheese because I figured I would be guaranteed bigger pieces.

Infinity Stones

We went with jelly beans because that’s a favorite and the bright colors matched the stones best (in my opinion)! But I think any candy like this (skittles? M&Ms? Gobstoppers?) could work.

For the cake, he wanted a four-shape and I surprised him with Avenger candles and Lego characters.

Come back to see what we did for games!